Eyelid twitching

Originally Published: March 8, 1996 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: December 22, 2009
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Dear Alice,

I am a twenty-four-year-old female, and I would consider myself to be a very anxious person (and have always been that way). For the past few months, I have been experiencing a problem with an eyelid spasm. It's always my right eye, and the lid flutters up and down a lot, sometimes lasting for a few days. It doesn't hurt, but is very annoying! I've had people tell me that it's due to stress and/or lack of sleep. Is this true, or could it be due to some kind of nerve damage? Should I go to an eye doctor?

Dear Reader,

Fatigue and stress cause eyelid twitching, also known as myokymia. This fluttering doesn't always immediately follow tension-loaded periods or a poor night's sleep. Eyelid tremors can also come and go, hang around for a while, and then disappear for weeks or years. However, fatigue is best friends with stress and sleep deprivation, so it's recommended that you concentrate on relaxing regularly and guaranteeing yourself the amount of nightly sleep that you need to properly function during the day. As annoying as it is, think of the twitching as your body's way of saying, "CALM DOWN AND GET SOME SLEEP!"

Take a look at the Related Q&As listed below for more information about stress management and sleep for specific advice on how to reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. You can try out the suggestions mentioned in these answers. If the spasms or your concerns continue, see your health care provider. Columbia students can make an appointment with Primary Care Medical Services by calling x4-2284 or by logging into Open Communicator.

Hoping you can find some time to take care of you,

Alice